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Forum hard to find

Postby A.I.C. » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:00 am

Is it me or is this forum becoming impossible to find on the Science website?

It doesn't appear in the Careers page until you click the menu button on the side. Which I don't think anyone would click it unless they are like me, specifically looking for this forum.

It should have greater visibility on the website in my opinion. Not to knock the articles published front and center on the page, but the forum was a lot more helpful to me than any articles when I was going through grad school and in my job search.

I found advice from real people on here much more sincere and powerful than advice in articles, which tends to be more pedantic and can feel out of touch with reality sometimes (it's hard not to get cynical about articles with titles like "5 ways to succeed in ...", "I succeeded in science because I loved science and being in the lab so much and have been curious since I was a child..."). The advice on here came from professors, bench scientists, Reg affairs, medical writers, marketing... people in the trenches talking about what it's really like and giving practical tips from their own experience.

I understand that at this point some of the topics are becoming repetitive, just because the forum has been on for so long, but there's always novel topics and science is always changing. And posts on interviews, academia-industry transitions, non-traditional careers in science, and others will always be useful and should remain accessible. Even if some posts seem too personal and particular, or even irrelevant, sometimes. There's a wealth of information here that should be on the main career page and clearly visible and accessible.

Or maybe it's just me, but I felt strongly enough about this forum to say something.
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Re: Forum hard to find

Postby PJM » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:37 am

Agreed. When the Science website had the old red banner head (which for some reason reappears when you visit the forum), you could get here directly from the banner. Once the banner switched a year or two ago to the now more streamlined black banner, you had to go to the career page, and then find the link under "more resources" on the side bar. Made it a little more difficult to find.

Now the link for the forum under "more resources" has disappeared. I had to google "science career forum" to finally get here just now. If one did not know about the forum, I have been lurking off and on for probably 10 years now, they would never be able to find it now, let alone know of its existence.

I think the forum definitely needs to be more prominently displayed on the main career page, it is quite a valuable resource.
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Re: Forum hard to find

Postby Dave Jensen » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:03 pm

Thanks for your comments, and I asked the AAAS to come back with a response. You're right -- lots of changes on the SC.org website in general and some of these have affected the forum. Stand by for a report on this by the AAAS,

Dave
“There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.”- Alain de Botton
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Re: Forum hard to find

Postby Sean S. » Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:35 am

Dear A.I.C. and PJM (and others),

Thank you very much for taking the time to post your feedback. Yes, you're right that there have been some changes to the ScienceCareers website that have made the link to the forum more difficult to find.

Without getting too much into the weeds (and talking about things that I don't fully understand!), the reason that the sub-navigation bar disappeared is that Google informed us that it was not compatible with their indexing algorithms. This meant that unless we changed the navigation menu at the top, our pages would not be indexed. That is why many of the links moved under the menu button at the top right.

We know that this is nonideal and steps are being taken to redesign the page, a process that is more complex and time-consuming that you'd expect!

Unfortunately, we also lost the link to the forum in the More Resources list because that recently underwent updating and optimization.

So right now, the best ways to get to the forum are from the "hamburger" menu on the top right, or by searching Google, as mentioned. I know this is something of a hassle, for which I apologize.

FYI, the way I personally get to the forum is to go into my browser address bar and start typing the word, "scforum". My Chrome browser remembers that I've been to the forum recently and conveniently fills in the rest of the URL for me. :-)

All the best,
Sean
(Senior Editor, Custom Publishing, Science)
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Re: Forum hard to find

Postby A.I.C. » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:53 pm

Hi Sean,

Thanks for posting an explanation of what happened! It's not really a problem for people who actively look for this forum. I have the link to the forum in my bookmarks. It's more about people who don't know the forum exists yet or don't visit it frequently like new graduate students, or anybody going through an interview or transition that may not know to specifically click the hamburger button or google this forum to find it.

It would be nice to have a link at the Careers page so that people who need the forum but may not know about it can find it. Of course we, the users, don't have a clue how much it takes to maintain or make visible a forum like this but this forum was a major resource for me as I dealt with the graduate school depression and hardships and when I transitioned from academia to industry. If I'm on the job market again (hopefully not soon, but I'm in biotech, so you never know...) or if I decide to move laterally, this will be one of the first places I'll go to for advice.

AIC
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Re: Forum hard to find

Postby Dave Jensen » Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:10 pm

A.I.C. wrote:Hi Sean,

Thanks for posting an explanation of what happened! It's not really a problem for people who actively look for this forum. I have the link to the forum in my bookmarks. It's more about people who don't know the forum exists yet or don't visit it frequently like new graduate students, or anybody going through an interview or transition that may not know to specifically click the hamburger button or google this forum to find it.

It would be nice to have a link at the Careers page so that people who need the forum but may not know about it can find it. Of course we, the users, don't have a clue how much it takes to maintain or make visible a forum like this but this forum was a major resource for me as I dealt with the graduate school depression and hardships and when I transitioned from academia to industry. If I'm on the job market again (hopefully not soon, but I'm in biotech, so you never know...) or if I decide to move laterally, this will be one of the first places I'll go to for advice.


AIC


Hi AIC, thanks for the great message about the value of the forum. We'll have a major announcement about the Forum in the next 30-45 days. Stay tuned.

As an aside, I've heard from hundreds of people over the years with similar comments about the value of this site.

Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
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